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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Jan;14(1):17-26.

Present status of the use of growth hormone in short children with bone diseases (diseases of the skeleton).

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Endocrine Unit, Agia Sofia Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece.


Skeletal dysplasias are genetic disorders of bone and cartilage development, mainly characterized by disproportionate short stature. Achondroplasia is the commonest and best described form of skeletal dysplasia, leading to a mean final height of 131+/-5.6 cm for males and 124+/-5.9 cm for females. Growth hormone (GH) has been used in different studies in patients with achondroplasia in order to ameliorate their height, and short term results range from rather positive to moderate. However, disproportionate advancement of bone age has been observed that can compromise the positive effect of such treatment. Furthermore, concern exists about the aggravation of body disproportion necessitating a later leg lengthening procedure in order to achieve proportionate adult stature. In hypochondroplasia, GH treatment seems to give better results when administered at puberty. No data on final height yet exist, however, so that more studies with greater numbers of patients need to be performed before a consensus on GH use in achondroplasia and hypochondroplasia can be reached. Other forms of skeletal dysplasias are quite rare, so that no conclusion on GH use in such patients can be drawn. Finally, in osteogenesis imperfecta, GH administration significantly ameliorates bone density but does not clearly seem to affect final height positively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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